JB Pritzker, Bruce Rauner hold forums with Illinois Farm Bureau

NORMAL, Ill. (WLS) -- The candidates for governor planted the seeds for votes Wednesday night in a pair of forums with the Illinois Farm Bureau.

The forums were held one day after a new poll shows Democrat JB Pritzker with a sizable lead over Governor Bruce Rauner.

It was not a debate, but instead two separate forums. Governor Rauner talked about the importance of this election.

"You've got to tell your friend and neighbors to get out and vote," he said.

Rauner criticized a new tax idea floated by Pritzker.

"Pritzker has proposed a tax, put a box in your car, measure your miles and pay a tax based on how many miles you drive," said Rauner.

An NBC/Marist poll shows Rauner could be in trouble; it shows Pritzker leading him by 16 percent, 46-30.

"There's lot of polls around, they move up and down. I don't pay attention to polls the only poll that matters is on Election Day," Rauner said.

Political strategist Thom Serafin said despite the poll, don't count Rauner out.

"Bruce Rauner, because he's so well armed and has such good research, he's still very much an active participant in this race," he said.

"Bruce Rauner has been a failure for the state, done serious damage to the state," JB Pritzker said during his forum.

During his time before the Farm Bureau, Pritzker hammered Rauner on the budget crisis and cuts that hurt the agricultural industry. He denied he wants a mileage tax.

"I don't have a proposal for a mileage tax. I have said in other states, in Oregon I think, they have looked at the tax and are testing to see if it would work," he said.

Pritzker also downplayed the poll.

"I am running this campaign as if I'm behind. I'm not listening to the polls," he said.

At this point four year ago Rauner trailed Pat Quinn by 11 points but went on to win. But this time around he's facing a billionaire who's poured $126 million into his campaign, presenting a very different challenge.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.